That is disappointing. How will I know how to watch the game?
Let’s see. Again, the Flyers meet one of the teams I sort of like: the Habs. The Canadiens. Montréal. Les Habitants. The dark horse from last year’s playoffs, the white whale… enough already.
Apparently this is a game of interest to broadcasters. Something about it being shown in some prominent way. Only not for me, so I don’t give a hoot who DOES get to see it on tv before one am. I will be watching online, hopefully.
Bob will be in net again. This is his eleventh start in a row. Carcillo is out, injured in yesterday’s game. Apparently this is good news for JVR, who has been languishing with clipped wings. It seems he’s been out long enough to grow new ones.
That sounds so mean, but JVR did need a break.
So, how are the Habs doing this year? Their position in the standings is perfectly respectable. Like the Flyers, they have won three in a row. I’ll use October 30 as a cut off date because that seems about when the freakish early success teams started to fall away (eg: Islanders, Maple Leafs). So, since October 30:
- The Sens beat the Habs which made the Sens feel pretty good.
- The Habs lost to the blasted Blue Jackets (losing to that team is turning into a veritable epidemic)
- They also lost to the Panthers. You just never know with the Panthers. Sometimes their goalie is too much to handle.
- They beat Buffalo, Vancouver, Boston, and Carolina. Quite the potpourri of wins there.
- Their new-old young goalie, Carey Price, has not been spotless but he is pretty shiny.
I don’t know who will be in net for the Habs tonight, though it seems likely Price will. They have not played for a few days so he should be ready to go.
Here are some factoids people like to use for comparisons:
- The Habs are fourth in the league for wins as of this morning, to the Flyers’ 2nd place.
- They are 14th in average shots on goal, to the Flyers’ 11th place.
- They are 11th in average shots allowed, to the Flyers’ 9th place.
- Their power play is 20th in the league, to the Flyers’ 8th place.
- Their penalty kill is 2nd in the league to the Flyers’ 6th place.
Which begs the question: who tends to spend more time in the box? The Flyers, but less lately.
All those stats are very nice but they do not take into consideration the relative and ever-shifting quality of play from any given team. I mean, those same stats for the Sharks and the Kings would not have been a good indicator of how that game worked out. It is not very early in the season any more but it is early enough that the big dogs are just starting to stretch and sniff the wind.
Do the Habs qualify as “big dogs”? As a group, the Habs are not very large, physically. This was one of the issues some people had with their GM- why did he pick so many smaller players? They have not gotten any bigger, but they are still very fast. They did lose Markov recently to injury. That could be a problem for them. (Wonder how M-A Bergeron is doing these days?)
Did the Flyers beat them in the playoffs by being bigger than them? I think not. The Flyers are also very fast and some of their scarier players are not giants. But sure, they could be.